Awards & Associations
You Can Sue A Mechanic If Their Work Was Negligent
When you take your vehicle to a mechanic or auto repair shop to have work done, they have a duty to ensure that the work was done correctly, with the correct parts and was performed at or above industry standards. If the mechanic does not do these things and it ends up causing damage to your vehicle or causes you to get into an accident, then you may be able to sue the mechanic or auto repair shop for negligence. There are multiple factors that determine if you have a valid lawsuit against the mechanic though, so let’s take a closer look at what affects your claim from the view of an experienced car & auto accident attorney.
How To Prove The Mechanic Was Negligent
Negligence is all too common these days, across many different industries, but with auto mechanics this negligence can turn into devastating injuries and possibly even fatal car accident injuries. But for you to be able to sue the negligent party, you’ll need to be able to prove that the mechanic work that was done caused the damages or accident. This can be hard to do in some situations, but let’s look at some examples to clarify how we can prove negligence.
Let’s say that you just had your vehicle’s brakes replaced and then after getting your vehicle back, the brakes fail and you rear end someone at a stop light. The police will do an investigation of the scene of the accident and if it is determined that you were not driving recklessly and tried to stop the vehicle in time, but were not able to because the brakes did not engage, then this would likely be due to a mechanical failure. Maybe there was an air bubble in the brake lines or they didn’t put your brake pads back on properly or they didn’t set the brake pads correctly. All of these things can lead to the brakes not engaging properly, which could have led to the accident.
Another example would be a clutch replacement that was done incorrectly that led the vehicle to not engage the clutch correctly and it jumps when you step on the gas with the clutch engaged. If this were to happen and cause you to hit another vehicle, then this would be the fault of the mechanic that performed the work in a negligent manner. Since the vehicle should not have acted that way if the clutch was installed properly, then the accident would be the fault of the mechanic/auto repair shop and they would be liable for the damages the accident caused.
The key to determining if the damages were the fault of the mechanic’s work is establishing how the vehicle should perform with proper repairs and then comparing that to how the vehicle actually performed once the repairs were done. If the vehicle did not perform as it should and the driver was not driving recklessly, then it is very likely that their work was negligent and they would be responsible for any damages that occur. Just remember, that the vehicle performance that caused the accident must be directly related to the work that was performed by the mechanic, otherwise it is not relevant to the claim. So for example, if the mechanic just replaced the blower motor for your ac/heating system but then your brakes failed and caused an accident, this would not be the fault of the mechanic as they did not work on your brakes.
Who Is Liable For Faulty Repairs?
When faulty repair work is done to your vehicle and that faulty work is the direct cause of an accident, the repair shop that completed the work would be the liable party. This can be the owner of the shop if owned individually, or it could be the entity that owns the entire line of repair shops if it were a business with multiple repair shops. The lawsuit would be filed against the entity that owns the repair shops as it is their duty to ensure that all of their work is done to industry standards or above.
In the case where a part installed is defective, but was installed properly, then the company that manufactures the part would be the liable party and your lawsuit would be filed against them instead of the repair shop, because the damages were a direct cause of a defective part and not the installation.
Does The Mechanic Have To Pay For Injuries?
When a negligent auto repair leads to an accident and the drivers, passengers or other persons in another vehicle that were affected by the accident end up getting injured, then the auto repair shop that performed the negligent work would be liable for any property damages as well as injuries that were a result of the accident. The negligence of the mechanic along with damages done, turn this type of event into a personal injury lawsuit that allows the injured party to sue the negligent party for any economic or non-economic damages that they incurred due to the accident.
Things That Must Have Happened For A Valid Injury Lawsuit
For your lawsuit to be valid, there are a few things that need to be present. The first is called Duty Of Care. Duty of care means that you have a legal obligation to act in a manner that is safe for the people around you, which for a mechanic shop, would be performing repairs up to industry standards. The second thing is Breach Of Duty, which means that the mechanic breached their duty of care and did not perform the repairs to industry standards. Third is causation which means that the breach of duty was a direct cause of the accident. The last thing is damages. Since these types of lawsuits are not criminal lawsuits, but civil lawsuits, there has to be damages that were done to the affected party that can be compensated for monetarily. If one of these 4 pieces are missing from your case, then your injury claim is not valid and will not move forward.
Compensation You May Be Entitled To
When you are injured due to another person’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation from the at fault party for all damages that you sustained. These damages fall into two categories: Economic Damages and Non-Economic Damages.
Economic Damages: Economic damages are any monetary costs that were a result of the accident/injury that have a set dollar value tied to them. This includes things such as property damage, medical expenses, loss of wages from missed work and more.
Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are things you suffered from the accident that do not have a specific dollar amount tied to them. These are things such as pain and suffering, loss of mobility, disfigurement, permanent disabilities and more.
When your lawsuit is filed, you will work with your lawyer to establish all of the things that you had to endure and/or lost due to the accident. All of these damages, whether economic or noneconomic will be assigned a value and added together to get your final compensation amount. This will then need to be negotiated with the at fault party and then agreed upon before the settlement can become final.
How Our Law Firm Can Help With Your Claim
If you were in an accident due to the negligence of a mechanic or work that an auto repair shop did for you, you need the help of an expert car accident attorney. With decades of experience navigating car, truck, motorcycle and auto accident claims, you can be sure that your claim is in good hands with Rector Stuzynski LLC. Our lawyers have been handling injury lawsuits for our clients for a long time, with an extensive list of exceptional results and our testimonials show just how great our team is throughout the case all the way to final settlement.
Don’t let your claim get pushed aside by the other law firms that treat you as another box to check on their list of things to do, work with a law firm that cares about you and your well being while also getting you maximum compensation for your injuries. We would be happy to help with your claim, so feel free to reach out to us any time over the phone for a free consultation or stop by our office in Colorado Springs, CO to speak with our lawyers in person.